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How Long Will The Vanilla Sugar Last?

Asked by BluebelleofTheWoods. Answered on 19th November 2023

Full question

I want to make some Vanilla Sugar from the Domestic Goddess book for Christmas gifts but I am not sure when to make it. How long does it last for? Also, how many pods do I use? Is this the full stick with beans inside?

HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS UK book cover
Vanilla Sugar
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's suggestion for Vanilla Sugar (from How To Be A Domestic Goddess) is a simple and useful Christmas gift idea. Vanilla pods are cut into 3 pieces and immersed in caster (superfine) sugar. The sugar becomes perfumed by the vanilla pods and can then be used for baking, sweetening and sprinkling. We would suggest making the sugar at least 1 week (and preferably 3 weeks) ahead of gifting, as it takes a while for the vanilla flavour to permeate through the sugar.

If you store the sugar in an airtight container in a cool, dry place then it should last quite a long time and if gifting the sugar we would suggest a shelf life of one year. Also, you can suggest to the lucky recipient that they top up the jar with fresh sugar to replace the sugar used, as the vanilla pods will continue to emit their fragrance for quite a while. Nigella suggests using 2 vanilla pods to 750g (3¾ cups) of sugar. For the UK a vanilla pod is the whole vanilla bean (the external pod plus the seeds inside). In the US it would be referred to as a vanilla bean.

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